Dennis Bangham

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since Feb 19, 2016
I like to keep busy building, creating learning.  Since I am an engineer i find I need to do heavy work at home to make up for the hours of sitting in front of a computer all day at work.  I hope to have a food forest in the front and backyard by the time I retire
Huntsville Alabama (North Alabama)
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Recent posts by Dennis Bangham

I live in an area where there are lots of hardwood trees and some yards are all trees and after 50 to 70 years some have to be taken out.  The local companies have to pay to dump their chips in a land fill.  They can dump them in my place for free.  
4 days ago
I currently use drip irrigation.  The cheap emitters found at Home Depot.  They tend to fail after a few years (clogged or free flowing).  This maybe because they tend to get buried under my wood chips or soil.

Anyone have different ways to irrigate your veggie garden?  I live in a very hot and humid area and cannot depend on rain but I can cover with wood chips.

Has anyone used drip tape?  how do you hook it to a distribution pipes?  Any other ideas?

"Quote Looking at the photos, it looks like the mulch covers the base of the trees? My phone screen is too small to be sure. Is that what you mean about the bases of your trees? Be sure not to cover the base of your trees with mulch - you can kill them. When my DH decides to mulch, I always follow behind and rake the mulch back from the base of the trees and shrubs. πŸ˜ΈπŸ™€"

Around the trees is an old cement tree ring and very little in the way of wood chips.  Mostly a light covering now.  I will put hardware cloth (6 inch tall) around these so I can get rid of the tree rings and pile mulch up close but far enough away (3 to 4 inch gap) from the trunk so it will not cause rot.    

"Quote I would definitely try inoculaing those wood chips with certian edible mushroom spawn, or plan for ways to start incorporating that into your woodchip layering system. For mostly hardwood chips King Stropheria mycelium, and for conifer dominant chips blewit spawn would be worth looking into."

As I was moving the chips I was finding natural fungi. White and Orange Hyphae so I am letting them do their thing.  I live in a very buggy environment and my warm and hot weather mushrooms (logs) all got infested.  I have logs with cool and cold varieties of oyster and shiitake that produce in "no bug" weather (fall and spring).  I will keep an ear out for varieties that grow on chips and are cool weather fruiting.  

"Quote I would go with an annual, like crimson clover. It will fix nitrogen in the chips, add nitrogen to the surface, help ballence the nitrogen carbon ratios, will reseed if wanted, feed beneficial-insects, look beautiful in bloom, or can be terminated before reseeding by rolling or crimping before it makes seed."

I thought Crimson was a cool weather variety.  I do know that White Dutch grows well here and only gets 6 inches tall.  I still have some will spread it around to see what happens.

"Quote Is that fenced area chickens? Do put some down in there, as the birds will work it hard and break it down to lovely fertile compost for you. "

No chickens but they are allowed under very strict conditions (city ordnance).  I am thinking of maybe getting Muscovy Ducks since they make little noise and don't need a pond.  I would worry about all the Hawks around here.


6 days ago
My Asian Pears are all healthy and about 7 to 8 years old.  A lot of upward sprouts.  They have never produced anything more than one or two fruits if at all.  SOme are starting to leaf but others still have a tight bud.
My Pluots/Plums are starting to leaf and are only a couple years old. One has flowers.
6 days ago
Thanks Mike. I have a couple of Goji going in the front yard.  They seem to spread quickly through underground runners so they need to be kept in check.  
We should probably meet up some day and exchange ideas.
6 days ago
Thanks Mike, I will keep that in mind. I like Goumi because of the food value for people and of course birds can eat it too. I will look into bayberry.
6 days ago
Can I still prune them during the early budding stages?  Should I wait for the next cold spell and then prune or wait till summer?
6 days ago
I have tried blueberries before with little to no luck.  My pH is too high.  
6 days ago
Easiest way to grow mushrooms is on logs.  Since I am in an area where there are alot of bugs the cool and cold weather varieties (oyster and Shiitake) are my late fall and early spring crops. No bugs when it is cool.
6 days ago
I just put down straight chips.  It is around 4 to 6 inches deep and after it settles I might put more.

I was thinking of putting a ring of hardware cloth around the base of each tree.  Leave 3 to 4 inches clear all around and pile up the chips around the net.  

I am hoping this will keep weeds down around the base and still allow a lot of moisture retention and fungal growth.  I am seeing a lot of naturally occuring fungi in the chips as I moved them since they sat for 6 to 8 months.  

I can get as many chips as I can handle but it is getting harder and harder on the muscles to haul them up the hill in a wheelbarrow so I will sweet talk the hunny into getting a small tractor and front end loader to play with.
1 week ago